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The KEY Questions: Are we communicating?

11 November 17

The email was innocuous enough. There was nothing exactly negative about it, but I found myself irritated, unsettled and if I’m honest a bit angry. The client who sent it – let’s call him Stuart – had recently been on one of my courses and was updating me on his progress, or rather lack of it. He was basically saying that whatever it was I had been teaching, it didn’t work for him.

My reaction surprised me. If you’ve been in business as long as I have you know the truth of the old saying that you ‘can’t please all of the people all of the time’. No matter how much you value the product or service you are offering there will always be a handful of people who will beg to differ. We call it ‘buyer’s remorse’. It’s a perfectly human emotion and those (mercifully few) disappointed clients I have encountered are perfectly entitled to feel it. I have always gone out of my way to put the customer first and if they have a negative reaction to any aspect of my training I respect that and try to learn from it.

I knew all of this, but for some reason that email from Stuart stuck around in my mind. And we all know what happens to thoughts that stick around – they expand and grow. But there’s a problem, and in my defence it isn’t just my occasional failure to take my own advice and let go of thoughts that are unhelpful to me. The problem is emails, or digital messages in general.

Did you ever get a text that you misunderstood or misinterpreted? Of course you did. You probably get about three a day if you’re an average phone user. You know the sort of thing: someone texts to say: “I thought we were meeting up!” You read “You’ve let me down again!” only to find out later that what they meant was “I’m so dumb LOL”, or words to that affect. What was intended as a positive, humourous text is interpreted as a negative, accusing one, and human nature being what it is, our minds tend to read more negativity than positivity into these sometimes quite neutral messages.

Carl Jung said: ‘Perception is projection’. What he meant – at least according to my understanding – was that the world around us has no meaning beyond what we place on it via our thoughts. So two people could look at, say, my new jacket, and have entirely different views about it. Same jacket, but to one person it’s a beautifully tailored garment, to the other it’s a cheap bit of old tat that I probably picked up at a charity shop. So it’s not the jacket that’s creating their responses, correct? Reality is created by us humans, moment to moment.

I knew I had to phone Stuart. I wasn’t particularly dreading it, as it’s something I always do out of courtesy and to see if the problem can be rectified. I have to admit that I put that phone call off for a few hours, which had the very predictable effect of increasing my agitation. But you can probably guess what’s coming…

It was Stuart who apologised to me! He had read his email over again and come to the same conclusion as I had – that it sounded a bit negative. In fact he had only been trying to tell me that he hadn’t fully understood some aspects of the course and needed a little bit of advice from me to get back on track. We were on the phone for well over an hour and ended up sharing some real insights. Stuart now has many clients of his own.

You may have come across the old Native American proverb about the two wolves. It goes something like this: a young brave is troubled so he goes to the Chief of the tribe for help. He’s having many negative feelings about his world and can’t seem to shake them off. The Chief tells him that there is a war going on inside all humans between two wolves, one that loves peace and harmony and community spirit, the other who is filled with hate, jealousy and bitterness. The young brave asks him who will win the war, to which the Chief replies:

   “The wolf that we feed”.

My negative feelings could only grow if I innocently fed them, and that’s exactly what they did. Remember what I said about my new jacket? It’s not the jacket’s fault if you like it or not, and it wasn’t the fault of that email that I allowed myself to get upset. That was all my doing. Moral of the story? In all our digital communications we need to ….

Think twice!

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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
    Lucia Pohrebnyak

  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
    Sue Bee

  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
    Phillip Warris

  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.
    Valerie